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An Assessment of Exotic Plant Species of Rocky Mountain National Park

Chrysanthemem leucanthemem L. (Leucanthemem vulgare Lam.)
Oxe-eye daisy, white daisy (Asteraceae)


Current level of impact
Known locations in RMNP: Found in a few disturbed areas. Three miles north of Grand Lake entrance, planted at Kawuneeche Park.
Assessment: Currently has an intermediate number of known populations with patchy distribution in RMNP. When added together, all populations would cover an estimated area less than 5 hectares. Oxe eye daisy appears to be having little impact on natural processes. However, in other natural areas plant has been observed to invade and modify communities.

Distribution
Origin: Introduced from Europe as an ornamental, has escaped cultivation.
Geographical distribution: Widely distributed throughout U.S. except the northern Great Plains. Also found north into Canada.
Ecological distribution: Roadsides, fields, and other disturbed sites. Meadows, pastures, old fields and waste grounds. Escaped from gardens and established in meadows, around mines and ghost towns in the mountains.

Reproduction
Perennial, reproduces by seeds and short rootstocks. Capable of forming small colonies. Flowers June to July. An annual cold treatment must be received by basal roots to initiate flowering.
Seed production: Each plant produces over 500 seeds, average number of fruits/plant is about 2700.
Seed longevity: Seeds have the potential to remain viable in the seed bank for at least 2-3 years.
Germination: Most fruits germinate autumn of the year they were shed or the following spring.

Competition
Level of impact: If given the chance, this plant can become noxious and is capable of taking over pasture. Has potential to invade and modify existing communities.

Control
Little information has been published on mechanical, cultural, or biological control of this species. One important consideration is that seeds remain viable in soil for at least 2-3 years.
Mechanical: An option for small scale control is to dig out the plant before the heads are produced, being sure to get the underground parts.
Chemical: Herbicides active on ox-eye daisy are 2,4-D, Banvel (dicamba), Tordon (picloram), Arsenal (imazapyr), and Oust (sulfometuron methyl). These herbicides are not, however, specific to oxe-eye daisy. Plant is moderately resistant to MCPA, 2,4-D, and dicamba.

References:

Schwabe, W.W. 1950. Factors controlling flowering in the Chrysanthemum. I. The 
    effects of photoperiod and temporary chilling. Journal of Experimental Botany 
    1 :329-333.

Schwabe, W.W. 1951. Factors controlling flowering in the Chrysanthemum. II. Day-
    length effects on the further development of inflorescence buds and their 
    experimental reversal and modification. Journal of Experimental Botany 2:223-237.

Stubbendieck, J., C.H. Butterfield, and T.R. Flessner. 1992. Chrysanthemum 
    leucanthemum  L. pp. 225-227. In An Assessment of Exotic Plants of the Midwest 
    Region. Final Report. Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

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